Grocki changes his offensive tune, leads Westminster's senior charge

March 01, 1993|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,Staff Writer

Throughout his basketball career, Westminster's Jamie Grocki never was thought of as a consistent scoring threat.

He had a couple of 20-point games, but found himself passing the ball more than shooting.

The senior forward is making the most of his last year at Westminster, as are the rest of the senior Owls. After a 7-8 start, the Owls won their last seven to qualify for the regional playoffs starting today.

They'll be traveling to Quince Orchard -- a team they beat Saturday, 57-55 -- in the opening round.

The entire team has picked it up during the run, but Grocki has been particularly impressive at the offensive end. In the last seven games, he has averaged 13.4 points and, more important, he's looking to score.

"I was kind of hiding from the ball earlier in the season," Grocki said.

"I picked up some confidence and want the ball in the middle and look to score."

Westminster coach Dave Byers said it was just a matter of Grocki gaining confidence.

"We knew he was capable of scoring," Byers said.

"He had a few games last year when he had 20 and a big game earlier this season against Meade. Basically, he's looking to score now where before he always looked to pass. He's much more positive with the ball."

The Owls (14-8) started their playoff run after hitting bottom in a game against Frederick on Feb. 2.

With 10-point leads in each of the first three quarters and a 13-point lead in the fourth, the Owls didn't score in the final four minutes and dropped a 52-49 decision to visiting Frederick.

At 7-8, a .500 season seemed more likely than a run at the playoffs.

"We had a couple of meetings and talked about how we shouldn't have lost that game and what we had to do to get things turned around," Grocki said.

The turnaround started against Liberty, against whom Grocki had 14. He followed that with an 18-point effort against Linganore, 21 against South Carroll and 20 against North Carroll.

"It seems like all the seniors have picked it up some. We knew we'd have to if we wanted to have any chance of a successful season," Grocki said.

Byers said it's been a total team effort. The Owls, with six seniors on the team, are peaking at the right time.

"We just started making better decisions and are a little more alert to what we want to do out there," he said.

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